Stooges documentary 'Gimme Danger' rocks Toronto crowd

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Toronto — At the North American premiere Wednesday of the lively Stooges documentary “Gimme Danger” at the Toronto International Film Festival, Iggy Pop explained how director Jim Jarmusch came to make the film.

Jim Jarmusch (middle) and Iggy Pop (right) discuss the Stooges documentary "Gimme Danger" with Toronto International Film Festival's Thom Powers Wednesday night at Toronto's Ryerson Theatre.

“I went to Jim and asked him, I said, ‘Jim, would you make a movie about the Stooges?’ And that was the beginning and end of my input,” Iggy told the packed crowd at the Ryerson Theatre during a Q&A session following the film.

The doc covers the rise and fall of the legendary Detroit rock group through interviews with the band members, archival footage and animated passages that add a fun, fantastical element to the film.

It is intimately focused on the Stooges and those in the Stooges family. “I wanted (Iggy) to be the historical guide for the Stooges,” Jarmusch said during the Q&A, which was moderated by Detroit-born TIFF documentary programmer Thom Powers. “I didn’t want any outside voices of ‘How they did they influence you?’ blah blah blah. There’s enough of that.”

Interviews with Iggy make up the bulk of the film, and he explains how his influences range from Clarabell the Clown to the Ford River Rouge Complex. Soupy Sales, he says, taught him to write concise and be economical with his words.

The film, described by Jarmusch as “a love letter to the Stooges,” is dedicated to late Stooges members Scott and Ron Asheton, along with Dave Alexander and Steve Mackay.

Jarmusch was the right guy for the job because of his integrity as a filmmaker, his agenda-free fanfare of the band and his “sensitive eye toward life,” Iggy said. When asked, Iggy namechecked the Detroit-set “Only Lovers Left Alive” as his favorite Jarmusch film.

“Gimme Danger” is scheduled to be released next month, and will run for two weekends at the Detroit Film Theatre beginning Oct. 28.

In November, Jack White’s Third Man Books imprint will release “Total Chaos: The Story of the Stooges/ As Told by Iggy Pop.” Though they don’t appear in the film, Jack White and Third Man’s Ben Blackwell played an integral part in the making of the film, Jarmusch said.

A Detroit event in partnership with Third Man is being planned for October prior to the film’s release, according to Jarmusch.

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